By Katherine Biber
Captive pictures examines the law’s remedy of photographic facts and makes use of it to enquire the connection among legislation, snapshot and myth. established round the scholarly exam of a financial institution theft, within which a surveillance digital camera captures the theft in growth, Katherine Biber attracts upon severe writing from psychoanalysis, postcolonialism, artwork, legislations, literature and feminism to 'read' this crime, its texts and its photos. the result's an interdisciplinary learn of crime that unfolds a compelling narrative approximately race kinfolk, nationwide identification and worry. This booklet is a vital learn for all degrees of legislations scholars learning, or drawn to, legislations, criminology and cultural experiences.
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Additional info for Captive Images Race, Crime, Photography
And if we also have a photograph, we have an answer. Sontag proceeded: ‘The camera record justiﬁes. A photograph passes for incontrovertible proof that a given thing happened. The picture may distort; but there is always a presumption that something exists, or did exist, which is like what’s in the picture’ (1971: 5). Now the photograph is more than proof; it is truth, an explanation, a plea for consensus, a silencing of disbelief or alibi. More than an object, the photograph becomes a discourse, a belief-system, a code for evaluating and attributing conduct.
Photography is the product of modernity and mass culture, posing new problems to accompany the opportunities it created. Photography would have consequences for law, but also for philosophy, politics and art. In 1935 Walter Benjamin published his landmark essay, ‘The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction’, which grappled with the consequences of the new technologies of the image. For Benjamin, photographs destroyed the ‘aura’ that made an image unique, instead making the image democratic, achievable by anyone.
Bela August Walker, in her argument against race-based suspect descriptions, said that racial labels used in law enforcement are simultaneously ‘overbroad’ and ‘inappropriately narrow’ (2003: 675), that monolithic labels (such as ‘Black’, ‘White’, ‘Asian’, ‘Hispanic’) are unhelpful (at 669–670), that they perpetuate racial discrimination, and impede the possibility of ‘multiracial identity’ and a ‘social deconstruction of race’ (at 664). She cited the case of Brown v City of Oneonta (2000),9 where an elderly white woman, the 9 (2000) 235 F 3d 769.